Reverend C.T. Vivian

“It was as if God had a master plan, bringing so many uncommon people of such rare strength and vision together in one place at one time,” the Rev. C.T. Vivian is quoted as saying in David Halberstam’s book featuring the young people involved in the early civil rights movement in and out of Nashville. People such as John Lewis, Diane Nash, the Rev. James Lawson, the Rev. Kelly Miller Smith Sr., Rev. Vivian, the Rev. Bernard Lafayette, etc.

On Friday, July 17, God put his master plan to work once again when on the same day he called Rev. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis, both civil rights icons and great friends, from the labor here on earth to rest in heaven with our Creator.

One of my most unforgettable moments as a journalist was interviewing Rev. Vivian in early 2006 about his participation in the Freedom Rides. The interview took place as the 45th anniversary of the Freedom Rides was about to be commemorated in Nashville. He was so emotional about what had taken place in the early 60s as the second wave of Freedom Riders left Nashville headed to Alabama, and then on to Mississippi. Listen Here.